Three to seven seconds: How to capture your customer's attention

  • Opinion
  • March 2, 2018
  • TSA Limited
Three to seven seconds: How to capture your customer's attention

Three to seven seconds... that's the amount of time a consumer first engages with a product on the shelf, the amount of time a product has to appeal and be chosen by the buyer. As a result, how a product’s packaging looks and feels is a vital part on the path to purchase.

Apple, one of the world’s packaging gurus, is a master at creating an iconic sensory experience that communicates its brand within the packaging alone. From the elegant and meticulously engineered box to its lid and inserts that slowly reveal the product inside, Apple packaging has truly become part of the brand experience. And they are not alone, Tiffany’s turquoise boxes and Burberry’s check are instantly recognisable features of the brands, and both represent luxury status.

As the distinction between mass-market and luxury products is becoming blurred via mass production capabilities, luxury products that were once hand-made, limited in circulation, and truly desirable objects are now within reach for more consumers. Brands within this luxury space need to demonstrate a real difference to connect with a sophisticated audience. Enter packaging embellishment.

Beautifully designed packaging has the power to entice, provoke curiosity and engage. And the luxury packaging market isn’t going anywhere. According to a 2017 Smithers Pira report, the luxury packaging market was valued at over $13.77 billion in 2016, with global sales forecast to increase by 3.4 percent in 2017 to $14.25 billion. Within this lucrative packaging market, paperboard is the most popular material used in luxury packaging, accounting for a projected 41.9 percent share of luxury packaging market value in 2014.

As the fight for consumer engagement tightens, brands are turning to innovative strategies to attract customers.


Brands are delivering recall through ‘experience packaging’ - packaging that stimulates physical engagement to enrich the consumer’s overall experience. Everything from unique opening and unwrapping mechanisms to infusing packaging with long-lasting fragrances are incorporated to add this extra layer of impact.

Matteo Correggia, Italian winemakers, have utilised experience packaging to create a wine bottle that combines two of life’s greatest pleasures: drinking and reading. The company introduced wine bottles that come wrapped in short stories, with each story written to complement the characteristics of the wine. Providing drinkers with a double hit of engagement upon consumption.


Creating a memorable experience via packaging extends into how the product feels and works as well. “Tactile interactions can quickly alter the consumer’s initial impression,” says Amber Ellis, senior director of beauty category marketing and product management at Silgan Dispensing Systems. “Best-in-class ergonomic design is strengthened through the three Cs: control, comfort and cleanliness.”

Ellis continued, saying that research suggests beauty products must meet ergonomic criteria, right down to how the product’s pump is designed. The design, height and angle should all work to mimic the natural shape of and preferred posture for the finger to offer an ease of use, luxurious dispensing experience. We are seeing brands such as Lyric and Aria Luxe implement these ergonomic touches.

Estee Lauder is even ensuring ergonomics are factored into their sponge applicator. They created a product that combines both liquid foundation and a sponge, allowing consumers to apply foundation with only one hand due to its ergonomically considered design. These brands are successfully targeting consumers who are seeking products crafted to offer a luxe experience.


Brands who focus on providing everyday products are bridging the gap between the desirable luxury world and the mass market through premiumisation. Appealing to that increasing cohort of consumers with a “save, don’t spend” attitude, brand owners, particularly in the food industry, are pioneering a trend as they re-energise affordable products by wrapping them in ‘luxury’ packaging.

Gü’s range of desserts can be found in black, sleek packaging, marking them out as a premium product. Similarly, ready-to-eat microwavable meals, a product that is typically seen as a basic low-cost item, has been reinvigorated with luxurious packaging such as ceramic pots and compartmentalised containers that invite an enhanced experience.

Leveraging packaging to transform everyday products with an exclusive look and feel creates a consumer experience that imparts luxury and quality, without compromising consumer wallets.

Packaging is becoming more than a ‘product carrier or wrap’, it is an experience, a sensation, a motivator. Every customer interaction must elicit a synonymous brand experience, and marketers know that packaging is one of those opportunities not to be missed when attracting customers to their goods on the shelf.

As seen in VoPP Mag Issue three – The Luxury Issue. Subscribe now at

This story is part of a content partnership with TSA Limited and Stoppress. 

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